• Biblical history,  Houseful of Chaos Press

    Athaliah: Strategic Regent or Unhinged Queen-Mother?

    I was luck enough to listen to a lecture not long ago by Egyptologist Dr. Kara Cooney, where she was talking about the role of women pharaohs as a link that allowed the culture to maintain the male line when a pharaoh died before his son was old enough to rule. I want to repeat a few key ideas she brought up, and then talk about how those ideas can be applied to looking at two Bible stories. Dr. Kara Cooney spoke about Merneith, an Egyptian regent who ruled after the death of her husband and before her son was old enough to rule. When Merneith’s father and again when…

  • Uncategorized

    Welcome

    My name is Christy Knockleby. I am a homeschooling mother, author, and obsessive bookworm. I’m the type of person who gets interested in something and then spends multiple years reading everything I can get my hands on about the topic, sharing random details about the topic with everyone I meet. You can follow my Facebook page to share in the fun. I teach online classes through Outschool. I have a variety of short courses on history, mythology and looking at the Bible from a secular academic perspective. I have published two books, available online through various bookstores including my own little bookstore here: A Secular Bible Study is a guide for homeschoolers…

  • Biblical history,  Houseful of Chaos Press

    Reflections on the idea of “Christian Mythology”

    Sometimes people take offense at the phrase “Christian mythology” as though it reduces Christianity to silly stories. It may make sense that people feel that way, since most people don’t understand mythology in the first place. It isn’t about dismissing Christianity or putting it down, but rather seeing it in context with other religious beliefs of other cultures. It isn’t about “lowering” Christianity by putting it on the same level as other ancient mythologies but on raising the other mythologies and seeing the interactions between them. Mythology is a weird word anyway. We study the mythology of ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt and the Norse mythology fairly easily, with little fear…

  • depression

    Living and Homeschooling with Depression

    The past month has been really hard here, as I know it has for a lot of people. For about almost two weeks I could feel myself sinking into tunnel vision. I could go through my routines, help the kids with their schoolwork and teach my classes, but I couldn’t do anything more than that. I barely even read anything. I napped lots. Mental health problems are like weather conditions for me. It used to scare me, when after a period of time doing well mentally, I would feel myself sinking back into depression. Now it doesn’t bother me as much. I know how to handle things. I know I…

  • Picture of a statue of the God Nabu
    Biblical history,  Houseful of Chaos Press,  religion

    When Gods Made of Wood and Gold Came Alive

    Think of all the stories where we know the end before we get there. There are stories where we know the underdog will win. We know which couple will become ‘an item.’ Try for a moment to picture one of those stories, and imagine what it would look like to someone from a cultural context that told them the opposite results should happen. Maybe the woman should stick to her boring fiancé instead of leaving him for the funny more caring person. Maybe the underdog should come in last because really, he’s an underdog for a reason, right? Some stories are so predictable and prewritten that it is hard to…

  • 19th century illustration of Joseph before the Pharaoh.
    Biblical history,  Houseful of Chaos Press,  politics

    A Biblical Story of the Concentration of Wealth During a Disaster

    Today I find myself thinking about a story in Genesis 47:13 – 26. It is the story of a famine in Egypt. I’ll share the text from the Bible, and then I’ll write my commentary underneath it. 13There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food.…

  • activism,  Biblical history,  Houseful of Chaos Press,  meaning of life,  seasons

    Thanksgiving and the Wandering Aramean Text

    As we approach American Thanksgiving, and my Facebook feed ends up filled with posts expressing a mix of views about the holiday – some objecting to the mythology attached, the occasional post in favour of the mythology, and many more concerned about Covid-19 spread – I find myself thinking about a Biblical thanksgiving mention. Deuteronomy 26 tells that when people enter the land “the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance” they are to take the first fruits of their harvest and give it to God in a basket, reciting to the priest a specific creed: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a…

  • Houseful of Chaos Press,  religion

    Witchcraft?!

    The very word “witchcraft” scares some people. I acknowledge that fact in my upcoming book The Edge of the Circle. The book includes a teenage girl exploring witchcraft and that might be upsetting to some. So, I want to talk a bit about what that means. Why does witchcraft scare people and what does it mean anyway? In general, the rejection of witchcraft comes down to two things – a belief that religious practices should be standardized and a belief that there are alternative dangerous sources of supernatural power that people might tap into. I’ll look at those one at a time. The criticism of witchcraft has been part of…

  • culture,  history,  meaning of life

    What to remember on Remembrance Day?

    Remembrance Day and its American counterpart, Veterans’ Day, are coming up soon. November 11th is a tricky holiday where on one hand I’m not comfortable with the idea of glorifying war and on the other hand I want to acknowledge the risk soldiers have taken and the sacrifices they, and their families, have made. This year my thoughts are shaped largely by the book  A War of Individuals: Bloomsbury Attitudes to the Great War by Jonathan Atkin. The picture of the war I gain through that book is of a war that whole countries felt drawn into. It wasn’t sending off their soldiers, it was sending off their young. Sacrifices were made by…

  • history,  Houseful of Chaos Press,  meaning of life

    A Paradise Without the Need to Work?

    I love following wisps of ideas as they lead me through different times and works of literature. Today I’m thinking about how different writers questioned the possibility of a paradise without labour. Start with the Gonzalo’s speech in The Tempest about how he would run an island, if he could: I’th’ commonwealth I would by contrariesExecute all things, for no kind of trafficWould I admit; no name of magistrate;Letters should not be known; riches, poverty, (165)And use of service, none; contract, succession,Bourn, bound of land, tilth, vineyard, none;No use of metal, corn, or wine, or oil;No occupation; all men idle, all;And women too, but innocent and pure; (170)No sovereignty—…All things…